09 Jun 2021

09 Jun 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Multiscale assessment of TRMM (3B42 V7) and GPM (IMERG V5) satellite precipitation products over a Mediterranean mountainous watershed with sparse rain gauges in the Moroccan High Atlas (case study of Zat basin)

Myriam Benkirane1, Nour-Eddine Laftouhi1, Said Khabba2, and Bouabid El Mansouri3 Myriam Benkirane et al.
  • 1GeoSciences Laboratory, Geology Department, Faculty of Sciences Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University (UCAM), Marrakech, Morocco
  • 2Joint International Laboratory TREMA, Physics Department, Faculty of Sciences Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, (UCAM), Marrakech, Morocco
  • 3Natural Resources Geosciences Laboratory, Geology Department, Faculty of Sciences, Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra, Morocco

Abstract. The performance of Tropical Precipitation Measurement Mission (TRMM) and its successor, Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), has provided hydrologists with a source of critical precipitation data for hydrological applications in basins where ground-based observations of precipitation are sparse, or spatially undistributed.

The very high temporal and spatial resolution satellite precipitation products have therefore become a reliable alternative that researchers are increasingly using in various hydro-meteorological and hydro-climatological applications.

This study aims to evaluate statistically and hydrologically the TRMM (3B42 V7) and GPM (IMERG V5) satellite precipitations products (SPPs), at multiple temporal scales from 2010 to 2017, in a mountainous watershed characterized by the Mediterranean climate.

The results show that TRMM (3B42 V7) and GPM (IMERG V5) satellite precipitation products have a significant capacity for detecting precipitation at different time steps. However, the statistical analysis of SPPs against ground observation shows good results for both statistical metrics and contingency statistics with notable values (CC > 0.8), and representative values relatively close to 0 for the probability of detection (POD), critical success index (CSI), and false alarm ratio (FAR). Moreover, the sorting of the events implemented on the hydrological model was performed seasonally, at daily time steps. The calibrated episodes showed very good results with Nash values ranging from 53.2 % to 95.5 %.

Nevertheless, the (IMERG V5) product detects more efficiently precipitation events at short time steps (daily), while (3B42 V7) has a strong ability to detect precipitation events at large time steps (monthly and yearly). Furthermore, the modeling results illustrate that both satellite precipitation products tend to underestimate precipitation during wet seasons and overestimate them during dry seasons, while they have a better spatial distribution of precipitation measurements performance, which shows the importance of their use for basin modeling and potentially for flood forecasting in Mediterranean catchment areas.

Myriam Benkirane et al.

Status: open (until 04 Aug 2021)

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Myriam Benkirane et al.

Myriam Benkirane et al.


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Short summary
Moroccan High Atlas is characterized by Mediterranean climate, where generally occurred a few rainy days, producing important flash floods, which frequently generate heavy flooding. However, rain gauge in these regions, are often scare, irregular, and unreliable. The acquisition of reliable and accurate precipitation data is very important in hydrological modeling and flood forecasting. Satellite precipitation data are a good alternative to solve the lack of data problem.